Artist Biography

Juan B. WANDESFORDE
1817 - 1902

Juan Buckingham Wandesforde was born in England on June 24, 1817 into an aristocratic family, the Earls of Wandesforde. When quite young he was a pupil of English watercolorist John Varley and later of Le Capelaine. He taught drawing at Glasgow Collegiate Academy before immigrating to New York in 1850. There he was one of the earliest members of the Century Club, exhibited oils and watercolors at the National Academy of Design, and developed a fine reputation for his miniatures and portraits of prominent citizens. In the late 1850s he traveled to Montreal, Canada to paint the portrait of the visiting Prince of Wales and lived in Montreal until settling in San Francisco in 1862. Locally, he was employed mainly with portrait commissions and teaching before concentrating on the local landscape. Working in both watercolor and oil, he made sketching trips to the Trinity Mountains, the Monterey Peninsula, Clear Lake, and the Sierra Nevada. In the early 1890s he moved across the bay to Hayward where he spent his remaining years. After his home burned taking with it much of his life's work, he lived in declining health until his death on November 15, 1902. As well as landscapes of California, he also painted a few portraits and still lifes. His style was a fusion of the Hudson River and English schools of painting. Examples of his work are rare. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n (cofounder, first president); Bohemian Club. Exhibited: Mechanics' Institute (San Francisco), 1864-95; California Art Union, 1865; San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1872-1900; California State Fair, 1880. Works held: California Historical Society; Oakland Museum; Orange County (CA) Museum; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); New York Historical Society; De Young Museum; Hayward (CA) Historical Society.

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